Biography by Geoffrey Nutter

This life is the emergency we have to face.
—Hans Küng

Of his schooldays we know little.
He was riding the back of a swan.
He was riding the back of a monkfish
Through the fiery portals of dawn.

Of his childhood less is known.
But damage had been done.
He was flopping up a fish ladder
In a half-hearted effort to spawn.

Of his arbitrage much has been written
On foolscap marbled with dew.
Having traveled edgewise through icebergs
He was turned like a case-hardened screw.

He was, one might say, born anew.
He had touched a fiery throne.
His hand suffered 3rd-degree burns
That seared through to the bone.

Bondage and destiny blazed.
He sipped the cold crabapple juice.
His effigy, burning, was raised
Over the town and turned loose.

He felt like someone else.
Orange pylons turned in the sky.
They seemed so much braver than he—
A thing merely shrinking and shy.

A blue flame smoldered and hissed
On each end of his two-tone mustache.
The white flames of day were approaching.
He fell down to earth with a splash.

His feet touched the rubbery floor
And cold lettuce fields of the sea.
He bobbed up and washed ashore
With the delicate foam and debris.

He crawled toward a stand of palms.
A blue crab hung from his nose
By one lean and smiling claw.
He crossed his eyes and froze.

He was riding the back of a swan.
He was riding the back of a dream.
He was hopping from ice floe to ice floe
On a thawing, half-frozen stream.

One chunk of ice broke away.
He stood on its marble floor.
The blue crystal oblong swam
Toward the tall purgatorial door

Of day. No,
Night. No, day’s
Own trees aglow
In magic rays.

Was he any more human now?
He seemed to be in one piece.
One appendage hung limp from his shoulder
Glazed with a brownish grease.

Light was upon him now.
He crawled toward the buildings of ice.
The horizon flung up auroras.
They told him to arise.

Their voices came from afar.
They rose and died on the wind.
They were faint as a morning star.
They said goodbye to him.